What began as an aberration on Thanksgiving Day has turned into a torrent of defensive ineptitude for the Raiders.
On Sunday the Raiders were pummeled by the Kansas City Chiefs at O.co Coliseum, 56-31, for their fourth straight loss and sixth in their past seven games. And for the third straight game, Oakland’s defense – which had been the team’s strong suit over the first half of the season – was no challenge for the opposing offense.
On Thanksgiving the Raiders gave up a 21-7 lead to lose 31-24. Last week, the weak Jets offense and beleaguered quarterback Geno Smith beat Oakland 37-27. And Sunday, the Chiefs dominated every aspect of the game to swamp the Raiders and send them to their 10th defeat in 14 games. Three times in the first half, the Raiders defense couldn’t touch Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles on screen passes, giving up touchdown plays of 49, 39 and 16 yards. Charles, in fact, scored four TDs in the first half alone – then scored again in the third quarter on a 71-yard pass-and-run play from Alex Smith.
Smith, who gave way to rookie Chase Daniel late in the game, completed 17-of-20 passes for 287 yards, five TDs, no interceptions and a quarterback rating of 158.3.
The 56 points are the most ever given up by Oakland in a regular-season game.
Now, with just two games remaining – against the Chargers and Broncos – it now appears the chances of surpassing the four-win total of 2012 are remote.
Raiders fans beat their team up on Twitter while the Chiefs were clobbering the team on the field.
A sampling: “ ‘Can we play the Raiders all the time?’ – Kansas City Chiefs”; “Raiders are a joke. Man, I swear, how do you allow 5 TDs to one player?”; “Boy, the Raiders really do blow. My God.”; and, “Can the Raiders season just end right now so we can get an early start to rebuiliding for next year?”
As bad as the defense has played the past few games, it hasn’t gotten much help from the offense, however. The offensive ineptitude gets a large assist for the disaster.
On Sunday, Matt McGloin threw four interceptions and was pulled late in the second half; then Terrelle Pryor threw a pick of his own. One of McGloin’s interceptions was returned for a score. The rest contributed to Kansas City’s scoring avalanche. A total of seven turnovers for Oakland kept the Raiders defense under constant pressure. Then poor play and horrible tackling helped escort the Chiefs to the end zone.
Plus, the continued problems by McGloin and Pryor make it evident the team will have to make a run at a quarterback in the offseason, either through the draft or free agency. The rebuilding effort under general manager Reggie McKenzie isn’t going to go anywhere without a competent quarterback. And, though both young QBs have shown flashes – McGloin threw for nearly 300 yards and two TDs Sunday – neither looks like the future of the franchise.
As the San Francisco Chronicle’s Vic Tafur tweeted late in the game: “Next year’s starting QB is not on this roster.”
The only good news now is that with two more possible losses looming, the Raiders’ draft position will again be high in April.